April 16, 2007

Porter-Cable 371K Compact Belt Sander

porter_cable_compact_sander.jpgWe would probably use our belt sander more often if it wasn't the size, shape, and weight of a cinder block. Using it on a vertical surface is pretty much out of the question and even when it's flat on a board it's like controlling an untrained St. Bernard. But still, it's a great tool, if only it was smaller...

Enter Porter-Cable and their 371K Compact Belt Sander. This little guy looks to create an entirely new class of tool by merging the usefulness of a belt sander with the size and maneuverability of an orbital. It weighs only five pounds, which puts it at less than half of the weight of Porter-Cable's heavy-duty belt sander. Because the tool is so versatile and will likely be used places that a regular belt sander can't, the handle is designed to accommodate any number of grip positions.

Not only is it compact, but it looks to be plenty powerful too. A 5 amp motor (the larger Porter-Cable has 8, most orbitals have around 2) should be enough to deal with most small to medium sized jobs. The sander also has flush sanding capabilities on one side.

The 371K retails for about $120 to $130, which looks to us like a great price for such a good combination of power, quality, and size. If you're a full-time woodworker, this will likely be a great addition to your tool repertoire, and if you're the occassional DIYer, this might be be the only belt sander you'll ever need.

The 317K comes with a case and an 80 grit sanding belt.

At Amazon.comand Tool King

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at April 16, 2007 8:59 AM

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